Beirut (Agencies): Doctors Without Borders has called on Syria’s government to reverse its seven-year ban on the medical charity, issuing an urgent appeal for access to wounded people in regime-held territory.
Since Syria’s conflict erupted in 2011, the medical charity known by its French initials MSF has been repeatedly denied permission to work in government zones, but has operated in opposition-held territory.
It has issued its first ever public appeal to Syria’s government to reach those in need, regardless of location.
“Our actions are based on the needs of patients alone, not on the politics of war,” said MSF general director Meinie Nicolai.
“We could begin working within days, if given authorisation, and could play a deeply beneficial role alongside other Syrian and international healthcare providers,” she said.
The statement said MSF had submitted a request to Syria’s foreign ministry in April but had not received a response.
“If our offer is again dismissed, we will continue to do what we can, where we can, because there are a great many people in great need of medical care in Syria today,” said Nicolai.
Syria’s regime lost swathes of territory to rebels early in the uprising but has since made a comeback and recaptured large parts of the country.
“The levels of trauma, both mental and physical, caused during the March offensive to take control of eastern Ghouta are beyond my comprehension,” said Nicolai.
Hospitals backed by MSF in the rebel enclave treated more than 5,600 wounded in the first two weeks of the offensive alone.